The Best Bars for Foodies in Washington D.C.

The OpenTable Team

Few areas in the country are more iconic than Washington, D.C., but America's capital isn't just the hub of politics—it's also home to some of the best restaurants in America. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Whether in the mood for a good old-fashioned, all-American beer, or some sake, this list of best bars in D.C. has you covered.

Restaurants:O-Ku - DC, Le Diplomate, The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Sushi, French, American
Neighborhoods:Washington, Logan Circle, Penn Quarter
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O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
406 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
O-Ku opened a few years ago and quickly won D.C. over with their commitment to genuine Japanese hospitality. They have a world-class upstairs bar and a full sushi and sashimi bar. Read more
90% recommended
Sushi in Washington, D.C. Area
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Le Diplomate

$$$$·French·
Logan Circle
8,711 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Brunch
Le Diplomate dedicates itself to genuine French culture. They take extra care to extend this dedication to the drinks, which are steeped in French culture and tradition. The fruitRead more
95% recommended
French in Washington, D.C. Area
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The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
1,868 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Fun
Located around the corner from the International Spy Museum, The Smith in the Penn Quarter is an offshoot of the popular NYC spot that specializes in all-American food and seasonalRead more
85% recommended

Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
933 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
The Dirty Habit is another addition to the Penn Quarter district and is steps away from all the major tourist destinations. They pair seasonal drinks with shareable plates, making Read more

SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,489 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion
SEI is in downtown D.C. and specializes in modern Asian cuisine. They also have specialty sushi that puts a modern spin on the classic Japanese dish. SEI, however, got their reputaRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
897 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Fun
  • Good for Groups
The building that houses The Arsenal at Bluejacket was first built back in 1919 and has since been retrofitted to house this bar and restaurant. The Arsenal specializes in “adventuRead more
90% recommended
Vibrant Bar Scene in Washington, D.C. Area
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RPM Italian - DC

$$$$·Italian·
Mt. Vernon Square
3,571 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
This division of RPM specializes in Italian-American eats with pasta, seafood, and steaks. They also serve some of the best wines from various Italian regions in the world. At the Read more
93% recommended
Italian in District of Columbia
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The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Downtown
3,647 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for Anniversaries
Austrian-born celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck first came to prominence in the 1980s, when he opened Spago in Beverly Hills. With restaurants all over the world, his Source restaurant Read more
92% recommended
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Macon Bistro & Larder

$$$$·Southern·
Chevy Chase
805 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Comfort Food
  • Cozy
The Macon Bistro and Larder is one of the most unique bars in D.C. because they combine Southern cooking with a French-Creole flair. Best known among the locals, the Macon Bistro aRead more
91% recommended

Brasserie Beck

$$$$·Belgian·
Downtown
4,687 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Business Meals
  • Great Beer
Located in the burgeoning McPherson neighborhood, Brasserie Beck is one of the only restaurants serving Belgian food in the area. It has a beer list with over 100 choices, making iRead more
90% recommended

BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
5,990 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
BlackSalt serves sustainable seafood that is typically locally sourced as well. The bar is more of an upscale tavern that complements the high-end dishes that are popular here. TheRead more
95% recommended
Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area
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Iron Gate

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Dupont Circle
1,705 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
  • Cozy
The Iron Gate is a swanky spot that offers Mediterranean fare, specifically Greek and Italian fusion dishes. This is a preferred hangout spot in the nicer weather months because thRead more
93% recommended
Mediterranean in Washington, D.C. Area
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Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
8,744 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
Celebrity chef Jose Andres brings his Jaleo concept to D.C., and the result is a Mexican fusion menu with a rotating selection of cocktails to complement the dishes. Jaleo has greaRead more
95% recommended
Spanish in Washington, D.C. Area
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Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,217 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Quiet Conversation
Named after the French painter Henri Matisse, this restaurant specializes in contemporary French-Mediterranean fare. Matisse has an unrivaled wine list that offers a premier selectRead more
97% recommended

Café Milano

$$$$·Italian·
Georgetown
2,842 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
This is one of the most casual dining offerings in D.C., which is important in a town that takes the tack of “sun's up, suits on.” Café Milano offers delicious pizzas complemented Read more
91% recommended
Hot Spot in Washington, D.C. Area
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Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab - Washington DC

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown
5,621 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
With satellite locations in Las Vegas and Chicago, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab has become a D.C. favorite because of their incomparable surf 'n' turf and cocktails. ThiRead more
96% recommended
Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area
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BLT Prime by David Burke

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown
1,872 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Notable Wine List
Located in the Trump Hotel DC, the BLT Prime by David Burke is best known for their top-of-the-line steaks and incomparable appetizers. The selection of cocktails is second-to-noneRead more
100% recommended
Best Ambiance in District of Columbia
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Kinship

$$$$·American·
Mt. Vernon Square
927 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Kinship is another place that specializes in new American fare, meaning they do gourmet twists on classics like hamburgers and steaks. Kinship has a chic, minimalist decor, which mRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,382 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
Named after Executive Chef, Ris LaCoste, RIS DC is a neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of the West End district that serves seasonal American fare with a local vibe. LaCRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

$$$$·Mexican·
Downtown
1,461 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fun
El Centro D.F. is another creation by celebrity executive chef Ricardo Sandoval that specializes in authentic Mexican food. In addition to offering authentic Mexican street eats, ERead more
89% recommended
Mexican in District of Columbia